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What is CloudLinux and How Does It Help Shared Hosting?

What is CloudLinux?

CloudLinux is a linux based operating system designed to give shared hosting providers a more stable and secure OS. Essentially a set of kernel modifications to the Linux distribution, CloudLinux implements features to enable system administrators to take fine-grained control of their server’s resource usage. By isolating users, CloudLinux helps ensure that problems with one account don’t degrade the service for others.

CloudLinux virtualizes user accounts using a feature called LVE (LightWeight Virtual Environment). Each LVE is allotted a certain amount of resources (memory, CPU, etc.) which are separated from the server’s total resources.

If a particular account receives a sudden increase in traffic or begins to use a lot of CPU or memory, rather than slowing the entire server and possibly causing a failure, only that particular LVE will slow down.


How Does CloudLinux Help Shared Hosting Environments?

A shared hosting environment is one where hundreds of website accounts are hosted on a single server, sharing the server’s resources equally.

In a typical shared hosting environment, the server admin has limited control over individual website accounts’ server resource usage. If one website account is using an unfair amount of resources (e.g. due to being under a DDoS attack, poorly written script, increase in traffic, etc.), the entire server would become slow or go down completely, affecting all other customers on the server as well.

In traditional hosting, we can not set a limit for RAM, CPU, and other resource usage for a particular website account. Finding problematic websites is a time consuming job and fixing such issues sometimes requires suspension of the website accounts. This can easily lead to unsatisfied customers which can adversely affect your business.

What Happens When Issues Occur in a CloudLinux Hosting Environment?

In CloudLinux based shared hosting environments, once a website account reaches its limit of set resources, the site will begin to slow down. The website account consuming too many resources will temporarily stop working until resource usage returns to normal. Meanwhile, other website accounts on the server will continue to run normally.

In CloudLinux hosting environments, limits are put in place to protect against abusers and bad scripts, not to restrict the normal usage of an account.

Lets take a look at how CloudLinux can improve a shared hosting environment.


CloudLinux Features

The following is a list of features that make CloudLinux unique.

  1. A Personal Set of Server Resources for Each Customer – With the LVE technology in CloudLinux, each customer’s website account has a separate set of allocated resources. LVE ensures that these resources are not shared with any other website accounts.
  2. Stable Hosting Environments – Sudden traffic spikes from one website account will never mean downtime for any other website account or the server as a whole. Since every website account has its own allocated resources they remain protected. This keeps websites running even if a sudden spike in resource usage comes from other websites hosted on the server.
  3. Secured & Hardened Kernel – CloudLinux’s hardened kernel helps prevent malicious users from attacking other website accounts hosted on the same server.
  4. Multiple Versions of PHP – CloudLinux has a built-in feature called PHP selector. It allows end users to select the specific version of PHP they need. This allows ultimate flexibility by offering all popular versions of PHP, including more than 120 PHP extensions to choose from.

    CloudLinux packages PHP versions 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6. The convenient UI lets customers switch between versions, select extensions, and adjust PHP settings as needed.

  5. Stable Mysql Database Performance – MySQL often becomes a major headache for system admins in shared hosting environments. Keeping MySQL stable can be difficult, and customer queries can easily slow everything down.

    The MySQL Governor feature of CloudLinux helps system admins pinpoint abusers and throttle them in real time. It tracks CPU and disk IO usage for every website account in real time and reduces MySQL queries by using same-per-user LVE limits. With support for the latest versions of MySQL and MariaDB, it is a must-have for any shared hosting provider.


In Closing

With all its features and advanced technologies, CloudLinux makes maintaining and stabilizing a shared hosting environment easier. This means less time and money spent on resolving frequent resource usage issues and fewer headaches for both hosting providers and their customers.

With CloudLinux, your websites remain stable, your servers stay secure, and your clients stay happy.


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